Nov. 19, 2011
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Colton Silveria rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown while Sean Kelley added three field goals en route to a 23-19 victory over Sacramento State in the 58th annual Causeway Classic on Saturday in front of 12,874 fans at Hornet Stadium.
Silveria had the first 100-yard rushing performance of the season for the Aggies and the most individual single-game rush yards for UC Davis since the 2008 season. Kelley was good on all three of his field goal attempts from 33, 22 and 23 yards.
The Aggie offense had a solid performance in the last contest of the season, traveling 69 yards or more on four separate scoring drives. UC Davis finished with 377 yards of total offense.
Randy Wright completed 14 of 23 passing attempts for 171 yards, while throwing one interception. Tom Hemmingsen posted five catches for a team high 50 yards. Josh Reese chipped in with 29 rushing yards, while Austin Edmonson managed an eight-yard touchdown run.
"We played with same intensity. There was no magic formula," said head coach Bob Biggs. "We ran the ball well, got some big plays in our run game and hit a big pass play. That's going to happen in a game like this. We just played with great effort and executed."
The Sacramento State offense was frustrated by the UC Davis defense all game, as the Hornets were unable to score an offensive touchdown until the final play of the game. Sacramento State finished with 269 total yards for the game.
Garret Safron completed just 11 of 31 passes for 155 yards but added 93 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Brandyn Reed collected four catches for a team best 78 yards and Morris Norrise added five catches for 70 yards.
Defensively, the Aggies were led by Byron Gruendl who posted nine tackles, one sack, 2.0 tackles for losses and a forced fumble. Jordan Glass and Andre Allen combined for 11 tackles and each tallied a sack. Sacramento State had a game high 10 tackles from Todd Davis while Osagie Odiase recorded eight tackles, two tackles for losses and an interception.
UC Davis completed the season with a final 4-7 overall record and Sacramento State also dropped to 4-7 on the season.
"(Our defense) didn't give Sacramento any consistency with their offense," continued Biggs. "We forced them to do things that I don't think they really wanted to do and they ended up not feeling comfortable throwing the ball. If they got anything it was mostly off of the quarterback scramble."
Sacramento State nearly ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown but a holding penalty put the Hornets back at their own 25-yard line. The Aggie defense started hot, holding Sac State to three-and-outs on their first two possessions.
UC Davis took advantage of the field possession, advancing into the red zone on a 10-play, 43-yard drive. Kelley put the Aggies on the board with a 33-yard field goal at the 5:53 mark in the first quarter.
After two more UC Davis defensive stops, the Aggies held a 3-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Sacramento State had a big pass play and a pass interference call on the ensuing drive to advance to the two-yard line. The UC Davis defense continued to bend but not break, holding the Hornets to a field goal. Gruendl had a forced fumble to push Sacramento State back to the seven-yard line, before Jason Diniz converted on a 23-yard field goal.
The Hornets continued to take advantage of points off turnovers, scoring on the next Aggie possession. UC Davis had a holding call on the kickoff to put the ball at the 11-yard line, followed by a Wright fumble in the endzone. Ben Cowger had the forced fumble and recovery for Sac State, giving the Hornets a 10-3 lead at the 10:34 mark.
The Aggies responded nicely however, traveling the length of the field on their next drive for a touchdown. Edmonson capped off a 14-play, 78-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run, evening the score at 10 apiece with 3:31 remaining in the half.
Sacramento State managed one more score before the end of the half, starting with a 48-yard kickoff return by DeAndre Carter. Safron also had a 19-yard run on the drive before Diniz managed another field goal, this time good from 25 yards. UC Davis could produce anything with a two-minute drive, keeping the score at 13-10 for the intermission.
The second half started with a punt for each team before the Aggies put together another touchdown drive. As part of the 69-yard drive, Wright connected with Taylor Sloat for a 40-yard reception that put UC Davis at the one-yard line. Silveria punched it in on the following play for a one-yard touchdown run that put the Aggies back on top, 17-13.
Both teams were scoreless in the remainder of the third quarter after two punts. Sac State also attempted a fourth and five conversion late in the quarter but the UC Davis defense held to take over on downs.
The Aggies had another impressive drive in the fourth quarter, traveling 86 yards on nine plays, eating up four minutes and 31 seconds of clock. Kelley managed a 22-yard field goal, giving UC Davis a 20-13 advantage at the 5:23 mark.
After another Sacramento State three-and-out and Aggie scoring drive, Kelley gave UC Davis its biggest lead of the game with a 23-yard field goal, making the score 23-13 with just 1:22 remaining in the game. The Hornets managed a touchdown on the final play of the game after a 30-yard run for Safron, bringing the final score to 23-19.
Colton Schmidt had another impressive punting performance, with six punts for an average of 43.2 yards per punt. Jonathan Perkins had three kick returns for a total of 70 yards.
Coach Biggs commented on the importance of ending the season on a high note, heading into the offseason.
"(This game) helps a lot. It helps with the psyche of the players, particularly winning the two rival games," said coach Biggs. "We're not happy with four wins, obviously. But what's past is past and we've learned from it. We're a young football team and we have a lot of players returning. Their effort has been second to none. To end in a game like this and go into the offseason with a team that feels pretty good about themselves, it means a lot."